Sounds like: A surrealist Beach Boys with 21st-century editing software.
For fans of: The Flaming Lips, Dan Deacon, Vashti Bunyan.
Latest release: After pushing the marriage of analog instruments and digital manipulation to its outer limits, Animal Collective—the past decade’s pre-eminent touchstone for “weird”—has thrown its fans a curveball with this month’s Centipede Hz, a kind of rock record.
Why you care: Born from the millennial tinkerings of two NYU dropouts—David “Avey Tare” Portner and Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox—Animal Collective wound up having a wider effect on the sonic and sartorial style of a generation than almost any of its contemporaries. Over the course of nine albums, from 2000’s Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished through 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, the group, swelling at times to a quartet, went through an unparalleled artistic evolution. By decade’s end, Animal Collective’s propulsive psychedelic pop and nouveau tribal aesthetic could be found informing genres as diverse as electro, rock and folk. Forever servant to its curiosity, the group adopted a harsher tone for this year’s Centipede Hz, citing reasons no more profound than its own whimsy.
SEE IT: Animal Collective plays the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., on Thursday, Sept. 20. 8 pm. $26 advance, $30 day of show. All ages.